Before I started band in the 5th grade, I knew that I was going to be a woodwind player. I knew exactly which woodwind that I would play. I fell in love with the saxophone and no one was going to change my mind about it. The woodwinds are made up of such a diverse group of instruments. The flute and piccolo, the clarinets along with their alto and bass counterparts, the bassoon and oboe, which are double reed horns and not easy to play and your variety of saxophones, soprano, alto, tenor and baritone. In my career, I played both alto and tenor and loved them both.
This week’s Mama Cross section of the week is built from two of these unique instruments, the clarinets and the alto saxophones. The Pride of Hennessey has three awesome alto sax players in Matthias Cross, Danny Pacula and Malina Lemmons. Matthias and Danny, both being seniors this year, are defiantly closing out their final high school year on a high, being part of an incredible and unique group of not just woodwinds, but students that make up the entire band. The Pride can also brag about having an extremely strong clarinet line this year, made up of Kyla Hobson, Becca Hill, Kaylee Ellison, Amber Pacula, Lacy Tarrant, and Makayah Pearson. These nine students have laid a strong support and melodic atmosphere to the band’s sound. Having this many strong instrumentalists in a section makes it hard to focus on just one to highlight, but this week’s featured woodwind is without a doubt a strong leader, and always has an upbeat and fun outlook. Clarinet player Kyla Hobson aka Mega Sparkles.
Kyla is a freshman this year whose favorite colors include lime green and royal blue. Her favorite food is her mother’s home made chicken and noodles. She loves country music and hip hop and the movie “Paul”. More of her personal faves include the book “Unwind”, the number 21 and her Hennessey Eagles and OSU Cowboys. A few of her best friends are Malina (Super Sour), Shelby (Super Ninja) and Kalie Choate (Blue C), but from what I have observed, she is friends with everyone and has one of the sweetest dispositions in a person, always smiling and encouraging those around her. Her favorite holiday is Halloween because she loves to go the band Halloween party at Zombie House.
Kyla is a true musician who excels not just in band, but in piano as well. Regarding band, she believes that it is not a class that you join for just an easy grade. You work hard to be the best you can be. Due to the Pride’s dedication, she has had people tell her that the band kids have “so much motivation and determination in what they do and can see this band going places and reaching goals”. Band has help to show her what leadership looks like and has inspired her to show leadership as well. When she switches gears to piano, it’s not a major switch as piano takes a lot of work, concentration and hand eye coordination. Every Wednesday finds her at piano lessons and it frustrates her when people try to tell her that piano is easy. In her journey through piano she has discovered that it “makes her feel good inside and that she knows she is doing it for her and not to please anyone else”. Her dedication to piano is a true testament to the type of person she is, because she finds ways to motivate herself to practice in the midst of weekday softball practice, evening band rehearsals, piano practice on Wednesdays and football games on Fridays. Throw in competitions, homework and time with family and friends, this shows how dedicated this 14 year old is to everything she is involved in.
While already an inspiration herself, encouraging people to never quit and always try their hardest, Kyla draws from inspiration from her family as they keep her going through the hard times and will always be there to pick her up when she falls. Her role model is her mother Holly, how has shown her that life isn’t easy, but sometimes you have to take those challenges and turn them into something better. She is also very thankful for the Pride of Hennessey’s directors, Adam Steuart, Nicole Steuart, Bradley Gilbert and Patrick McClung who have taken a band of 15 and grown in to 35 in just 3 short years, always driving the students to get stronger and stronger, helping them to achieve becoming OBA Class 2A State Champions this year. Her favorite quotes include:
“If you don’t believe in your section, they won’t believe in themselves.”
“The first two quarters of the football game are just the entertainment before the half time show.”
“Don’t tell me the sky is the limit when there are footsteps on the moon.” – This is a quote that I know Kyla will tune her life to, one that will continue to help define who she is now, and who she will become. A young woman who is always reaching, striving and continuing to make the best out her life and the situations that life throws at her, as well as helping others to reach and strive for greatness in their own lives. She is without a doubt an inspiration to me and worthy of all magnificence that comes her way. She is a person who will continue to bring harmony in a diverse world.